Hi Joey, Here is my Halloween Story.Wishing you a belated Happy Birthday.
Enjoying your blog. Love, Virginia (Frontiero) McKinnon
Halloween remains a very special holiday, as this is my husband’s birthday
Bob will be 89 years old this year.
Looking back to my childhood, Halloween was a very celebrated holiday in Gloucester. I remember groups of people of all ages lining up on side streets
Gould Court, Mansfield Street, Granite Street, etc.. Grown-ups were given fire torches to carry to light up the way. We joined the magical parade going by on Washington Street, joining the marching band on to Prospect Street and to the State Armory, now Curtis Clark Elderly Housing. Everyone dressed up in costumes for a wonderful city sponsored Halloween Party. Prizes were awarded for the best costumes, most original, best for children, best adults, etc. Bobbing for apples, lots of cider and donuts. A live band for dancing and great music. No trick or treating at that time. Later Halloween celebrations were held at the Gloucester High School, but the wonderful parade was discontinued. The city councilors are sponsoring a City Halloween Party this year at the City hall.
My children’s Halloween celebrations were also so special. I can remember my children asking me “Mama is this my Halloween?” Comparing Halloween to their birthday, so much better with getting all that candy. They were so excited to get dressed up and I would accompany them around our neighborhood, as they held up their bags, chanting “Trick or treat” I could not afford to buy costumes for seven children, but my neighbors were intrigued to see us all dressed up as ghost. I cut up my old sheets and made our costumes. One year I made our costumes from trash bags. My children made unique decorations to attach to the bags creating costumes..
When my children were older, I would pick up two buckets of chicken and all the fixings from Kentucky Chicken on Bass Avenue on my way home from work. Eating off paper plates my children went off to “Trick or treat” around the neighborhood with instructions to be home at 7 o’clock to celebrate their Dad’s birthday. Birthday cake and ice-cream would be waiting for them to end their exciting day, counting their “loot“ of who got the most candy. Our traditional Kentucky Chicken Dinners continued for many years with great nostalgia of childhood Halloweens. Now Kentucky Chicken has moved too far away to Saugus.
On my husband’s 80th Birthday we had a gala celebration at the Gloucester House with all our families and friends attending. My children presented their Dad with a royal king’s robe and crown. I was dressed as a queen. We are pictured here with our seven children in costumes. My husband looks at the photograph of his friends, Bob Beard, Elmer Miller, Gordon Hilsey, Charlie Dickman, Joe Orange and Tony Rao. Gordon died a few years ago, Two weeks ago Charlie died and last year around Halloween Tony died. Memories are so precious of this group “the greatest generation” veterans of World War 2 and the former YMCA body builders. Best friends forever.
This year’s celebration was a Family October Birthday Halloween Party at Papa Gino’s on Sunday. Celebrating many October birthday’s my youngest daughter’s 50th, oldest grandson 40th, granddaughters 32 and 34 , great-grandchildren 5 and 4. Many blessings and happy celebrations.
Virginia (Frontiero) McKinnon October 2013